Young artists do their bit for the fairy tern

We love seeing maker skills being put to great use, and we think this initiative by Forest and Bird’s Kiwi Conservation Club is just fantastic.

Twelve young members of the Kiwi Conservation Club put their artistic skills to good use last Saturday, giving our critically endangered fairy tern a helping hand by painting up decoy models for an artificial site that will be created on the Kaipara harbour.

Fourteen decoys will be placed on the site to encourage over-wintering birds to nest on this people-free, pest-free site. The three year project, initiated and run by Forest and Bird, aims to return the birds to this former nesting site in a bid to stop this species going extinct.

fairy tern painting

The fairy tern, or tara-iti, is New Zealand’s rarest and most critically threatened endemic bird. The smallest tern breeding in New Zealand, weighing in at a tiny 70 grams, a fairy tern can live more than ten years and is a feisty protector of its nest.

Just over 40 fairy tern remain, so the practical efforts of this group of young makers are a real boost to the campaign to save this gutsy little bird. Check out their skills here.

Fairy tern chicks, photo by Brian Chudleigh (Forest and Bird Weblog).

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